State houses available to buy from today

  • Phil Heatley

From today those state house tenants in a position to buy the house they live in can do so, says Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

“Many families in state houses aspire to achieve home ownership.  This policy provides a pathway from state housing to home ownership, as a tenant’s circumstances improve,” Mr Heatley said.

Over the next week, Housing New Zealand will be approaching about 3,800 state tenants who pay market rent and live in a home that is available for purchase, to make them aware of the opportunity.

“This is a great opportunity for state house tenants who are in a position to consider home ownership.  While we don’t expect huge or rapid take up, it makes sense that those earning enough to pay market rents know they could buy the state house they’re living in,” Mr Heatley said.

Tenants wishing to buy will need to approach banks about obtaining finance.  Housing New Zealand’s Welcome Home Loan, which is a mortgage insurance scheme that underwrites home loans, and the corporation’s free home ownership education programme, are available to assist those tenants.

“Tenants are under no obligation to buy, but I would urge those who can afford it to think seriously about it so they can own their own home and we can reinvest the proceeds into replacement houses,” Mr Heatley said.

Not all state houses are available for sale to tenants.  Interested tenants will need to check with Housing New Zealand first about whether their home is available.

To ensure a property is not on-sold to developers, a tenant who purchases their state house will be unable to reapply for a state house for three years from the date of purchase.

Any tenant interested in buying their house can register their interest by calling 0800 801 601, calling into their local Neighbourhood Unit, contacting their tenancy manger or email:



How will the sale price be reached?

Housing New Zealand will obtain an independent valuation from Quotable Value Limited.  That will be the purchase price.

Is any financial assistance available?

There are no government subsidies for buying a state house.  However, tenants may qualify for a Welcome Home Loan, which has a lower deposit requirement than some standard home loans.  From early November, the amount that can be borrowed under the Welcome Home Loan scheme will increase from $280,000 to $350,000 in high value areas, such as Auckland and Wellington.  Visit for more information.

Once the keys have been handed over, how long will it be before Housing New Zealand adds to the state house stock?

The answer to that depends on how many houses Housing New Zealand sells, where they are sold, and where they need to be replaced.  Generally, Housing New Zealand will replace stock in the high demand areas such as Auckland.  It will do this through building new houses or leasing from private owners.

How many market rent tenants are in homes that can be purchased from Housing New Zealand?

There are 3,867 market rent tenants living in homes that are available for purchase.

How many state houses will qualify as ‘available for sale’?

About 40,000 of the 69,000 state house stock will be available for sale, however the very fact that the vast majority of tenants do not earn enough to be required to pay market rent means relatively few will be in a position to buy.